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Seeking Water From The Sun: Arizona Public Media Documentary
Sunday, April 22, 2012 - 11:00am - 1:00pm
Seeking Water From the Sun, a thirty minute documentary, explores a scientific effort to resolve a dilemma of basic human need – clean water. It is a human story of the drama of science and the reality of life on the Navajo Nation, depicting the precious nature with which water is conserved and respected by Navajo families, many of whom go to great lengths to get water in order to remain on the lands of their choosing. This special program will premiere on Earth Day 2012, Sunday, April 22nd at 6 p.m. on PBS-HD 6.
Seeking Water From the Sun is a production of Arizona Public Media, produced by Dustinn Craig and Tom Kleespie in association with the UA Renewable Energy Network, UA College of Engineering, and Bureau of Reclamation, and input and cooperation from various Navajo Nation Chapters, community members, and agencies such as the Division of Water Resources, the Navajo Division of Natural Resources, and Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency. This documentary is narrated by Norman Patrick Brown with musical score by Mary Redhouse. This program was made possible in part by a Pacific Mountain Network Program Enhancement Grant supporting regional production that benefits and interests its member stations. Additional funding was provided by Desert Program Partners.
Wendell Ela, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Arizona. His research interests include water and wastewater treatment and hazardous waste site remediation.http://www.che.arizona.edu/
Ardeth Barnhart, Program Director for Renewable Energy, Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona.http://www.environment.arizona.edu/ardeth-barnhart
About the Documentary:
University of Arizona scientists and the Bureau of Reclamation took on the project of designing and building a prototype solar solution to purify water “off the grid” by using the sun. This story follows their trials and tribulations as they design and build a solar powered water distillation prototype, the first step of a plan to purify ground water for easier access to the Navajo people and their livestock.
Every few days Navajo Rosie Sekayumptewa drives almost 45 miles roundtrip to haul water from a dependable communal well. Expensive ‘water hauling’ is an essential way of life on the Navajo Nation. Rosie fills two 55 gallon containers to cover her family’s basic water needs. Simple things that most of us take for granted–bathing, cooking, drinking are done with a fraction of normal consumption. At one time she had a thriving garden that has gone fallow for lack of accessible water. Like many, her life revolves around water hauling. Today, many are looking to science and technology to help solve this problem.
The massive Navajo Nation covers 24,000 square miles across three states, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, and is home to more than 175,000 Navajos living on the largest reservation-based native nation within the United States. The Navajo agricultural lifestyle, which requires sun and water, is threatened as they face a severe shortage of water for drinking, gardening, and for livestock. Some of the water issues are rooted in the natural geology of their land. Most of the groundwater on the Nation is supplied through a salt cavern, producing water with high levels of salinity and other particulates that make it impossible to drink.
This project is made possible by a grant from the Pacific Mountain Network.